If you ever managed to leave Thailand on for whatever reason did not get your passport stamped at the border, this post may be of interest to you.
Earlier on in the year, I took part in a charity tuk tuk race from Bangkok, across the Malaysian border, over to Sumatra and ended up in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta. Thanks to a combination of exhausting, confusing and a healthy dose of nonchalance, I managed to leave Thailand without getting my passport stamped. The Malaysian border officials gave me my Malaysian stamp and on we went.
It wasn’t until I wanted to return to Thailand to live for a year that I thought I should get this sorted before landing in Bangkok. Not having an exit stamp from Thailand could result in any of the below…
- Being fined in Baht, per day from the date my visa ran out to the day I landed back in Thailand.
- Being incarcerated until I can pay said fine.
- Being deported from Thailand.
- Being permanently banned from entering Thailand.
- All of the above.
None of those are particulally appealing to me so I decided to call the Thai Consulate in the U.K to get this sorted before flying. Luckily I have an entry stamp to Malaysia long before my Thai tourist visa expires, I also have an exist stamp from Malaysia before my Thai tourist visa expires. On top of that, I even have an entry and exit stamp from Indonesia within the Thai tourist visa limit.
So I call the consulate, who are confused by the situation. I explain several times that I left Thailand via land, through Sadao and I do not have an exit stamp. After some worried groans, the Thai Consulate offers to call the Thai Embassy to see what we can do. I wait for two days and get a call back, and to summarise: good luck.
What the Consulate actually said was that there is nothing they, nor the Embassy could do. I would have to board my plane, rock up in Thailand and except to visit the immigration office in the airport, where I would have to explain why I do not have an exit stamp. The Consulate thinks it should be fine, because its obvious I’ve just landed and I clearly have stamps for the other countries. That being said, I should take any additional proof I have that I left the country such as train or plane tickets and be prepared to pay a fine. I guess if your moving to Thailand you should probably get used to it. Don’t be put off, what are often long complicated processes in England can often be solved in Thailand with a minor fine. It’s a good thing, to an extent.
Oh, one more thing – The Thai Consulate gave me the number of immigration at the airport so that I could call them before I fly in, and do my best to explain my situation. The Consulate was not sure if this would help or not, mearly suggested it is worth a try.
So, quite an open answer from the Thai Embassy. It’s certainly an exiting start to my year long stay in Thailand. I’l be sure to update this post as soon as I speak to immigration on the phone and once again once I fly in.
UPDATE: Got in fine. Zero happened at the airport. Cool.